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Review: Belle

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Belle  is the first movie I had the pleasure of seeing in theaters since the lockdown, and it was absolutely worth it! This is an anime film that I watched in the original Japanese with English subtitles, so I can't comment on the dub, but the Japanese voices were great. Though it is not exactly a retelling of "Beauty and the Beast,"  there are many references to the animated Disney version in particular, including several shots that looked like they were copied directly from the film. The story is still unique in its own way, however. It feels fresh and modern without forcing strong feminist stereotypes onto its audience. The animation is visually stunning and is accompanied by a beautiful soundtrack. The story incorporates modern technology  in a way that doesn't demean it and shows how we can take advantage of the digital era to turn our own lives into a fairy tale. Like many Magical Girl anime stories, Belle  focuses on an ordinary schoolgirl named Suzu who get

Review: Time Princess - The Sacred Beast

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The Sacred Beast was the third and final story released in the massive update from Time Princess a little over a month ago. Set in Persia, this is the second middle eastern visual novel in the game since Magic Lamp . It focuses on the mythology of the manticore, the legendary beast with the body of a lion and a scorpion tail. I found this story charming and different from the other visual novels in this game so far. Instead of focusing on romance or history, it follows the formula of movies like Lassie , emphasizing the love between a human and her loyal pet. The cultural fashions in this book were stunning. I found that I liked them much better than the craftable items in Magic Lamp. There were also many different directions that the player could take, resulting in a variety of endings, unlike Cleopatra , which was deceptively linear. The Sacred Beast is about a young lady named Asha, who works hard to care for her sick brother. When she learns of a valuable mushroom that could treat

Maya and the Three Is a Typical Modern Princess Show, But Is That Really a Good Thing?

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When I first saw the trailer for Netflix's Maya and the Three , it looked like the most generic modern princess show I'd ever seen. Now that I've actually watched it... I feel pretty much the same. Though not produced by Disney, this show takes all the modern-age princess tropes  that Disney developed over the past decade leading up to Raya and the Last Dragon  and drags them out over the course of ten episodes. If you want to see what the media is currently pandering to the next generation, you need look no further than Netflix, the wokest streaming network around. Maya and the Three is produced by the same people who worked on the 2014 animated film The Book of Life  and shares many of the aspects that made it both memorable and not so memorable. Like The Book of Life , Maya has a unique and creative art style inspired by Aztec, Mayan, Caribbean, and Incan influences , making it a visual feast for the eyes. Yet, its story leaves much to be desired, and its modern influenc

Review: Time Princess - Cleopatra Visual Novel

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Cleopatra is a visual novel that a lot of people were hoping for from the Time Princess  app. It's the third story about historical royalty following Queen Marie and Princess Sissi , but the fashions are unlike anything in the game so far. This latest Time Princess adventure transports us to the indulgent world of ancient Egypt, where pharaohs bathe themselves in gold and jewels that dangle shamelessly from their embroidered robes. The story itself is not a friendly one. Like all royal struggles, Cleopatra's history is fraught with warfare, betrayal, and murder. I knew who she was but had very little knowledge about her history before reading this story. Not only did I learn a lot, but I was also able to indulge in some gorgeous exotic fashions. Cleopatra's tale begins with a massive betrayal from her brother, Ptolemy. In a surprisingly gender-equal monarchy, Cleopatra was supposed to rule peacefully at Ptolemy's side as co-rulers. However, Ptolemy was greedy and wante

How To Design Your Dream Castle

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I've been living in my new castle for almost three weeks now, and it's been a lot of work. As promised, I'm ready to tell you all about the homebuying process. Before I begin, I would like to point out that buying a house is a personal process that varies with each individual. Something that worked out for me might not work so well for you, and that's perfectly fine. After all, a "dream" castle is entirely dependent on the dreams of the person living in it. For smaller spaces, please refer to my "How To Decorate Like a Princess"  post, which focuses on individual rooms or small apartments. I've realized that decorating a small space is a very different process from transforming an entire house into an enchanted home. For example, it's better to put up as many decorations as possible to make a smaller space feel larger, while houses are more about using little touches to show off the space you have. The first step in the home-buying process is

Review: Time Princess - Whispers of the Rain

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From the game that brought interactive historical fiction about royal figures like  Marie Antoinette and Princess Sissi  and creative gender-swapped retellings of Swan Lake , Aladdin , and Romeo and Juliet  comes a story about a woman who finds an abandoned baby in the middle of the street. This latest visual novel from Time Princess  feels a little out of left field considering how much history, mythology, and fantasy the game has tackled in the past. Whispers of the Rain takes place in 1980s Japan, but the story is so universal that it could take place anywhere. It also contains some of my least favorite costumes in this series to date. Everything looks so plain and boring compared to the extravagant ensembles from other visual novels in this game. With two more new stories coming out just around the bend, it seems like they're phoning it in to release as much content as they can as quickly as possible. Whispers of the Rain follows Time Princess's recent trend of gritty crim